Jaguar Prioritizing Handling Over Performance In I-Pace SVR

SUV

A hot Jaguar I-Pace SVR would benefit from the standard SUV’s 50/50 weight distribution.

Headline-grabbing 0-62 mph times are becoming synonymous with the new wave of high-performance EVs from the likes of Tesla and Rimac, with claims that the new Roadster and C_Two will do the 0-62 mph sprint in under two seconds. Jaguar, however, thinks handling is more important than performance in its future high-spec EVs. With rumors that a Jaguar I-Pace SVR and top secret limited-edition ‘Project’ car are in development, product planning boss Hanno Kirner has revealed to Autocar what to expect from future Jaguar performance EVs.

“We have asked ourselves how you would ‘SVR’ an electric car,” said Kirner. “Yes, we can make it do 0-60mph in 1.8sec. It’s a good headline, but once you’ve done it once or twice, and lost your eyes in the back of their sockets, you might not want to do it again.” The standard I-Pace has a 50/50 weight distribution and dynamic setup, which would carry over to the SVR version. He also suggested that technical enhancements from current SVR vehicles could also be applied to the I-Pace, but warns that applying excessive amounts of power would make the I-Pace too difficult for the average driver to handle.

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“You also have to make sure you can’t go too fast,” he said. “I do worry that the instant torque and performance might be too much for untrained drivers. It may be that we have to impose some kind of restriction, so that the performance is limited until they have gone on a driving course or something.” Kirner refused to confirm that a high-performance I-Pace is on the agenda, but did hint the SUV could be developed as a high-performance SVR, an SVX-branded off-roader, or an SVA luxury SUV. “There is probably more than one route we could take,”he said. “But there is definitely space for a performance electric car or cars.”

A hot SVR version of the I-Pace is likely to happen first, however, since Jaguar is launching a one-make I-Pace eTrophy racing series that will launch later this year. According to Autocar, an SVA version will follow after the reborn Jaguar XJ becomes established as the manufacturer’s halo model.

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